The Henry Family

Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating Madeline!

On September 22, my baby girl turned 7 years old! I can hardly believe it. It just sounds way too old:(

She talked about her birthday for weeks and the build up was really cute. Her birthday fell on a Thursday and she asked me to make peace sign and tie-dye cookies. I think they turned out pretty well and the class said they were delicious!

That night, we had brownies instead of a traditional cake because we were having cake at her birthday party in a few days.

Then, with the help of all her friends, she and her birthday buddy, Haley, had a fun-filled gymnastics party! Even Uncle Robbie, Uncle John, Aunt Lindsey and Emma came into town for the party. The turnout was huge and they all enjoyed playing in the gym, eating cake, and opening some fun and thoughtful gifts.
I feel so blessed that she has so many good friends here and that they were all willing to take time away from watching the Razorback game to come have fun together!

Dear Madeline,

Seven years sounds like such a short time, but it has gone by so quickly. Time sure flies when you are having fun with such an amazing little girl.

You are now in 1st grade and are an amazing student. Your teacher says you are really responsible, friendly, and an amazing reader! You are very sweet to your friends and have such a good heart. You don't like to see others left out and view everyone as a friend. You have a strong sense of right and wrong and are such an honest girl. When you do something wrong, you can't stand waiting to come clean about it. You come to me immediately to confess, a personality trait I hope will stay with you in your teenage years:) You love to play pretend: dress up, babies, Barbies, and school. You love to turn on Disney Channel songs to learn the words and make up dances. You are very goal-oriented and like to get things done rather than putting it off. You are getting much better about cleaning up after yourself and doing things to help around the house. You love to help take care of Will and anyone, really. You say you can't wait to be a Mommy and I take that as a compliment because I must make it look like so much fun:) Right now, you want to be either a doctor, nurse, or veterinarian when you grow up. You love dance and gymnastics even more than ever and show quite a bit of talent in those areas. You are working hard to master your standing back hand spring, and I am impressed by how brave you are! This year has been so fun for us! I love my big girl and how my job as a parent changes as you grow. I can't wait to see what this next year holds for us. I love you so, so, so much!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Mema

I mentioned in my Labor Day post that my Mema had a medical emergency which caused my parents to rush to Texarkana. Without giving too many personal details, she has been sick off and on for the last 5 years. It has been a hard fight for her and on Thursday, September15, God granted her peace from her suffering and she passed away. It was not an unexpected outcome for our family, but difficult just the same. I just wanted to write a post about my Mema, who has always been such an important person in my life.

I was my Mema's first granddaughter. After having 3 boys and only 1 girl, I am told she was very excited about my arrival:) She and I always had a special relationship. She always knew how to make me feel special. I used to love to go visit her and my Pepa for a week, all by myself and they made me feel like a queen.
My Mema was the epitome of a gracious southern woman. I remember her giving me Emily Post's guide to Etiquette as a High School graduation gift:) She was a very involved grandmother and great grandmother to us all. She was always described as the rudder of our family's ship and I know it will be hard for us all to adjust to her absence. She and my Pepa had a wonderful marriage of 57 years and are definitely one of Nathan and I's greatest role models in our own marriage.
Here are a few pictures of her that I wanted to share. I sure loved that wonderful woman and will miss her greatly!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Labor Day Fun!

We were so excited about Labor Day this year because we knew it would be a great chance to see family. Nana and Pawpaw decided to make a trip from Spokane to see everyone and we couldn't wait! After making a quick stop in Texarkana to check on the Pesek family, they came on Sunday to spend a few days with us. We met up at church and then just hung out afterward. Both kids taught their grandparents a thing or two on the i-pad and they were impressed!

Pawpaw even took a new family picture for us. We are so bad about remembering to take them and are enjoying the new picture.
Later we grilled out and discussed our plans to get together with some friends and my brothers the next day.

Unfortunately, my Mema had a major medical emergency that night and my parents had to rush back to be with the family.
We decided to cancel most of our Labor Day plans with my Mema in such critical condition but Robbie and Emma still came for the day so that the cousins could enjoy playing together. Madeline and Emma especially had a great time together! They sure love each other lots:)

On a side note, I decided to make fun summer cookies because I always look at Labor Day as a final celebration of summer. I thought the lemons and limes were a cute summer theme and my first big attempt at wet on wet decorating with Royal Icing. Even though the BBQ didn't happen for our family, we still enjoyed sharing them with family and friends and they were delicious!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The First Day of School!

You know, I thought when I started staying at home, I would be better about blogging. I guess I am still adjusting to figuring out how to best use my time. I feel like I have this long list of things I want to do and am still trying to figure out the best way to develop a routine that incorporates all of it.
So, here's my attempt to keep catching up the blog:

Will had his first day of 4 year old preschool on August 15. He was excited to go to school and is getting a little better about taking pictures. He goes every morning from 8:00 to 11:30. He has the option to bring his lunch and stay until 12:00. I decided to leave this up to him, and so far, he has wanted to eat lunch with his friends (as he says it) instead of at home. I love that he is becoming more social! Social skills and his developmental therapy are the main reasons we decided to keep him in preschool even though I am at home and capable of teaching him myself. I do wish we had a 3 day a week preschool, but none exists in our town:( We do enjoy our afternoons together, just the two of us:)

Then, on August 16, Madeline had her first day of 1st grade! She has been very excited about this new grade and so have I, as this is the grade I have taught for the longest and it is so close to my heart:) We had gone to registration the week before and she was excited to find out that she got the teacher she wanted, Mrs. Spriggs! She is a good friend of mine and I taught her daughter last year, so it seemed fitting for her to teach mine this year:) I love knowing she is in such good hands now that I am not at the school to check on her:)

She loves that she now has a desk instead of a table and is more interested in bringing her lunch instead of getting a cafeteria tray this year. She had a bit of an adjustment period at first because she said it is a lot more work and less play in first grade:)
She has adjusted and says that she likes it much better now. We had her first parent teacher conference last week and we found out that she is doing amazingly well. Her teacher told us she was the best reader in the class! She is very into Accelerated Reader and I love that it is really challenging her as a reader. I can't wait to see more progress and feel so blessed that she is such a great student.
She has also started taking another year of ballet, tap, and gymnastics. She decided to add jazz and says it is now her favorite class:)

I am still enjoying decorating cookies and decided to make some apple cookies as a back to school gift for the kids teachers. I put them in the type of tub that I liked to use in my own classroom so that they could re-purpose them when the cookies were gone. I love useful gifts!

It has been such a blessing to get to experience all of the Back to School traditions as a mom instead of always trying to juggle being a mom and a teacher. I almost cried with joy when I was able to walk Madeline to her class on the first day, an event I missed when she started kindergarten:( I feel like my kids have adjusted much more easily now that I am home as well. We have not had tears at drop off like we have in past years and I just feel like we are all much more relaxed and able to spend more quality time together. I cannot say enough how much being at home is such an amazing blessing for our family!!!